Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Born on the Same Day - 6/28/1941

Another installment in my "Born on the Same Day" series, featuring players who were born on the same day (!) and year. 

This is post #19 in the series: Al Downing and Fred Talbot - both born on 6/28/1941.

This is the 19th post in the series, and the first one featuring teammates.

Al Downing pitched for 17 seasons, the first 9 (1961-69) for the Yankees. After splitting the 1970 season between the Athletics and Brewers, he pitched his final 7 seasons with the Dodgers. He was a 20-game winner in 1971, his first in LA. Three years later, he gave up Hank Aaron's 715th home run.

Unlike Downing, Fred Talbot did not begin his career with the Yankees (or even with Yankees-West). Fred came up with the White Sox in 1963, then was traded to the Athletics prior to 1965. He finally made it to the Big Apple midway through the 1966 season.

After several seasons in the Yankees' rotation, Talbot was quite the traveler in 1969 - playing for the Yankees, Pilots, and Athletics. He finished his career in 1970 - pitching 1 game for the Athletics.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Herman Franks (#116)

It’s been awhile since I’ve featured a manager’s card. This is one of the last managers from 1966-70 that I haven’t posted yet, and the last who was managing a team during the 1967 season.

Herman Franks was the Giants’ manager from 1965 to 1968. Oddly enough, the team finished in 2nd place every season during his tenure, but after 4 years of that he was given the boot.

He was replaced by Clyde King for the 1969 season, and they finished in 2nd place again! Franks later managed the Cubs from 1977-79.

Prior to managing, Franks was a catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Philadelphia Athletics, and others from 1939-48.

He began his pro career playing for the Hollywood Stars in the PCL from 1932-33. After a few more seasons in the Cardinals’ organization he made his major-league debut with the Cards in 1939.

Traded to the Dodgers in 1940, he played for Brooklyn in ’40 and part of ’41, then spent the rest of 1941 and all of 1942 with their AAA team in Montreal.

He was out of baseball from 1943-45 while serving as a lieutenant in the Navy, fighting in the South Pacific.

Herman returned to Montreal in 1946, and resurfaced in the majors with the Philadelphia Athletics from 1947-48.

He was a Giants’ coach under Leo Durocher from 1949-55, and again in ’58 and ’64. He also scouted for the Giants from 1956-63.

Franks passed away in 2009 at age 95.